10/03/2009

H1N1 (Swine Influenza) Experts At The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions


















6 puntos para un plan contra influenza 6 Octubre 2009 Para evitar el contagio del virus A/H1N1 es necesario mantener la higiene en los centros de trabajo; el Gobierno ha establecido guías informativas para que los empleadores controlen la epidemia. Ante el repunte de casos de influenza A H1N1, las empresas buscan trabajar para controlar la propagación de esta epidemia, y para ello cuentan con recursos como la Guía de Recomendaciones para Instrumentar el Plan de Emergencia en los Centros de Trabajo por la Epidemia de Influenza, “que pueden instaurar los centros de trabajo para contener la epidemia”, puntualiza un reporte emitido por la Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social (STPS). De acuerdo con datos de la Secretaría de Salud en México, el pasado 7 de septiembre se contabilizó la cifra más alta de casos nuevos, 483 en un solo día, desde el inicio de la epidemia en marzo. Esto despertó la ‘alerta’ para que los empleadores reforzaran las acciones de prevención y promoción de salud, y se llevara a cabo una reunión con las cúpulas empresariales para reiterar que existe el compromiso de apoyar al trabajador en caso de confirmarse diagnóstico por este virus, en particular en lo referido al respeto de sus derechos laborales. Focalizarse en las actividades que establezcan las empresas es vital “porque en estos centros a veces se facilita que los grupos de trabajadores tengan una cercanía y eso favorece la transmisión de las infecciones. Hay que tener recomendaciones para contar con un plan, el cual debe incluir, por lo menos: difusión de las medidas útiles para prevenir la transmisión, así como información relacionada con los síntomas de la enfermedad”, señala Samuel Ponce de León Rosales, director de los Laboratorios de Biológicos y Reactivos de México, Birmex.

Simultáneamente, dice, la empresa debe ofrecer elementos para mantener una condición de higiene y eficiencia respiratoria, como: facilidad para lavarse las manos y desinfectarse con alcohol-gel; dar información sobre la manera de estornudar y toser, y las facilidades para no acudir al trabajo en caso de presentar signos de enfermedad. “Las mamás que deben ausentarse del trabajo, por ejemplo, porque sus hijos están enfermos (por este virus) deben tener facilidades para cumplir con esto, sin ser sancionadas en su salario”, aclara. El especialista recordó que además del rebrote por A H1N1, las medidas de prevención deben fortalecerse ante la presencia de influenza estacional que, en los últimos 10 años ha impactado a “10% de la población mexicana”. “Debido a que las dos se transmiten de la misma forma, es importante que las compañías incrementen su difusión en temas de higiene, vacunación y alerta de síntomas. Cualquier molestia intensa de vías respiratorias hay que revisarla con el especialista. Cabe recordar que para influenza estacional, las vacunas comenzaron a aplicarse el lunes 5 de octubre a niños pequeños, adultos mayores y trabajadores de la salud, mientras que a finales de mes empezará a distribuirse la vacuna por A H1N1 a personas con alto riesgo de complicaciones, trabajadores de la salud y niños”, detalla el especialista en enfermedades respiratorias. Alerta sin pánico Información de la Secretaría de Salud refiere que si la persona está enferma debe ir con el doctor y si éste emite un certificado de A/H1N1 tiene que resguardarse siete días en su casa para evitar el contagio. De acuerdo con Samuel Ponce de León, el aumento en los casos es una realidad por la magnitud de la contingencia, pero en lugar de llegar a un estado de máxima ‘desesperación’, las organizaciones deben enfocarse a informar a los trabajadores para prevenir los contagios. “Hay suficiente información por todos lados, por ejemplo en la página de la Secretaría de Salud, los materiales están listos para imprimir y distribuirse en las empresas”, añade. Por su parte, la guía establecida por la STPS, instruye al empleador sobre cómo establecer un proyecto de Plan de Emergencia, cumpliendo con puntos muy específicos, entre éstos: que todos los trabajadores participen del programa; se respete los derechos de los trabajadores, en particular si existe un caso de contagio que pudiera ser motivo de “discriminación”; y que las organizaciones fijen un canal de comunicación para informar, continuamente, sobre las medidas para proteger su salud. Este documento incluye 74 recomendaciones, agrupadas en seis apartados: planeación y dirección; capacitación e información a los trabajadores; medidas de prevención; medidas de protección; políticas temporales, y supervisión y vigilancia por parte de los servicios preventivos de medicina del trabajo y las comisiones mixtas de seguridad e higiene. Para el apartado de acciones para planeación, por ejemplo, establece los siguientes aspectos: * Designar a un responsable y a un equipo con funciones definidas, del cual formen

parte los representantes de los trabajadores. * Determinar el grado de riesgo del centro de trabajo y de exposición del personal. * Definir los requerimientos de insumos, tales como: cubre bocas, guantes 

desechables, jabón líquido, toallas desechables, secadoras eléctricas, pañuelos 

desechables, bolsas de plástico, etcétera. * Prever los recursos financieros para la adquisición de los insumos. * Evaluar la disponibilidad de los servicios médicos para sus trabajadores. * Reforzar el servicio médico de la empresa. El documento está disponible en la página electrónica de la Secretaría del Trabajo (www.stps.gob.mx) y también se puede consultar el sitio web de la Secretaría de Salud (www.promocion.salud.gob.mx).

Is handwashing enough?

Washing your hands is great, but it isn’t enough to stop the spread of influenza. Experts from the University of California-Berkeley, Mark Nicas (Environmental Health Sciences) and Arthur Reingold (Epidemiology) say handwashing is one of several ways to combat influenza. Other ways include not touching your face (eyes nose, or mouth) and staying home from school or work if sick.

Reingold says you’re more likely to get sick from influenza, especially the H1N1 virus, from airborne particles because inhaling the flu particles gives you a larger dose than by touching a contaminated object. And, according to Nicas, students at UC Berkeley touch their face an average of 16 times per hour. That is 384 times to transmit what ever is on your hands into mucus glands located in your mouth, eyes, and nose in one day.

Since influenza transmission hasn’t been studied as much as other viruses, like the rhinovirus, the best method of prevention remains unknown. Still, handwashing is a wonderful tool to use; we must remember other preventative ways as well. Stay home and away from others if you’re sick or you feel like you’re getting sick, don’t touch your face, and cover your nose and mouth with your elbow when sneezing and coughing.


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MayoClinic.com Provides Credible, Up-to-Date Information And Decision-Support Tools For Flu Season

Main Category: Swine Flu
Also Included In: Flu / Cold / SARS;  Public Health
Article Date: 05 Nov 2009 - 9:00 PST






"My body aches and my head is throbbing. Do I have the fluor is it just because I'm stressed or tired? Do I need a flu shot? Do I need the H1N1vaccine, too?"

Millions of Americans will be asking themselves these and more questions this fall and winter as news reports and health care providers continue to warn about seasonalinfluenza and novel H1N1 influenza, otherwise known asswine flu.

The flu symptoms self-assessment tool on MayoClinic.com helps you assess whether you or your loved ones have some form of flu, or just a cold. If you possibly or likely have the flu, you'll also learn whether antiviral medication is an option. And you can check a concise list of high-risk groups who should seek medical attention for the flu.

Influenza is a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system, including the nose, throat, bronchial tubes and lungs. If you're generally healthy and you catch influenza - commonly called the flu - you're likely to feel rotten for a few days, but you probably won't develop complications or need hospital care. If you have a weakened immune system or chronic illness though, influenza can be fatal.

Novel H1N1 flu, popularly known as swine flu , is a respiratory infection caused by an influenza virus first recognized in spring 2009. The new virus, which is officially called swine influenza A (H1N1), contains genetic material from human, swine and avian flu viruses. Unlike typical swine flu, H1N1 flu spreads quickly and easily.

Based on the expertise of Mayo Clinic infectious disease and epidemiology scientists and physicians, and other specialists for specific populations such as children or pregnant women, MayoClinic.com provides continually-updated and credible information regarding the seasonal flu and H1N1 flu vaccines and treatment recommendations.

Source









H1N1 (Swine Influenza) Experts At The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
03 October 2009
Johns Hopkins has a wide range of experts available for interviews and comments about H1N1 and seasonal flu, emergency preparedness, infection control, transmission in children, vaccine safety, flu treatment, public health...
[read article]

Face Masks Offer Protection Against Spreading H1N1
03 October 2009
With flu season officially underway on October 4th, Cantel Medical Corp. (NYSE: CMN), a company dedicated to infection prevention and control, recommends that Americans take extra precautions against spreading H1N1 influenza...
[read article]

Public Tells Health Care Workers: Get Your H1N1 Flu Vaccine!
03 October 2009
As H1N1 influenza vaccine begins to be shipped across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasize getting the first doses to high-priority groups. One such group is health care workers. A report released today by the C.S...
[read article]

Swine Flu News Articles Archive  -   Page 1

02 October 2009

01 October 2009

30 September 2009

29 September 2009

28 September 2009

26 September 2009

25 September 2009

24 September 2009

23 September 2009

Flu Can Trigger Heart Attacks But Vaccine May Offer Protection For Cardiac Patients

Swine Flu Map

This Swine flu map was created by L R - a computer scientist working in the UK, together with a team of 18 other people.

Swine Flu Map - Key
  • Red markers are confirmed infections of swine flu H1N1
  • Pink markers are probable infections
  • Black markers are confirmed deaths
  • Grey markers are unconfirmed deaths
  • Blue markers are influenza-like illness
Click on any marker to view information on that case.

2009 Swine Flu (H1N1) Outbreak Map in a larger map


Swine Flu: Top 20 Questions and Answers

Rumors are rife as the swine flu theme evolves. Here are twenty questions answered by Charles Ericsson M.D., Prof. Internal Medicine, Director of Travel Medicine, University of Texas Medical School, and Robert Emery DrPH, VP Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management, UT Health Science Center, and Associate Prof. at the UT School of Public Health.

Because new reports have come in, parts of this text were edited and updated on 16th July, 2009, by Christian Nordqvist, Editor, Medical News Today.

Read this more recent report on the A (H1N1) swine flu virus:
A new, highly detailed study of the H1N1 flu virus shows that the pathogen is more virulent than previously thought.

Writing in a fast-tracked report published in the journal Nature, an international team of researchers led by University of Wisconsin-Madison virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka provides a detailed portrait of the pandemic virus and its pathogenic qualities.

In contrast with run-of-the-mill seasonal flu viruses, the H1N1virus exhibits an ability to infect cells deep in the lungs, where it can cause pneumonia and, in severe cases, death. Seasonal viruses typically infect only cells in the upper respiratory system.

"There is a misunderstanding about this virus," says Kawaoka, a professor of pathobiological sciences at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine and a leading authority on influenza. "People think this pathogen may be similar to seasonal influenza. This study shows that is not the case. There is clear evidence the virus is different than seasonal influenza."

The ability to infect the lungs, notes Kawaoka, is a quality frighteningly similar to those of other pandemic viruses, notably the 1918 virus, which killed tens of millions of people at the tail end of World War I. There are likely other similarities to the 1918 virus, says Kawaoka, as the study also showed that people born before 1918 harbor antibodies that protect against the new H1N1 virus.

And it is possible, he adds, that the virus could become even more pathogenic as the current pandemic runs its course and the virus evolves to acquire new features. It is now flu season in the world's southern hemisphere, and the virus is expected to return in force to the northern hemisphere during the fall and winter flu season.

To assess the pathogenic nature of the H1N1 virus, Kawaoka and his colleagues infected different groups of mice, ferrets and non-human primates - all widely accepted models for studies of influenza - with the pandemic virus and a seasonal flu virus. They found that the H1N1 virus replicates much more efficiently in the respiratory system than seasonal flu and causes severe lesions in the lungs similar to those caused by other more virulent types of pandemic flu.

"When we conducted the experiments in ferrets and monkeys, the seasonal virus did not replicate in the lungs," Kawaoka explains. "The H1N1 virus replicates significantly better in the lungs."

The new study was conducted with samples of the virus obtained from patients in California, Wisconsin, the Netherlands and Japan.

The new Nature report also assessed the immune response of different groups to the new virus. The most intriguing finding, according to Kawaoka, is that those people exposed to the 1918 virus, all of whom are now in advanced old age, have antibodies that neutralize the H1N1 virus. "The people who have high antibody titers are the people born before 1918," he notes.

Kawaoka says that while finding the H1N1 virus to be a more serious pathogen than previously reported is worrisome, the new study also indicates that existing and experimental antiviral drugs can form an effective first line of defense against the virus and slow its spread.

There are currently three approved antiviral compounds, according to Kawaoka, whose team tested the efficacy of two of those compounds and the two experimental antiviral drugs in mice. "The existing and experimental drugs work well in animal models, suggesting they will work in humans," Kawaoka says.

Antiviral drugs are viewed as a first line of defense, as the development and production of mass quantities of vaccines take months at best.

In addition to his appointment at UW-Madison, Kawaoka also is a professor at the University of Tokyo. The new study was funded by grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Source University of Wisconsin-Madison 








The Polio Crusade

THE POLIO CRUSADE IN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE A GOOD VIDEO THE STORY OF THE POLIO CRUSADE pays tribute to a time when Americans banded together to conquer a terrible disease. The medical breakthrough saved countless lives and had a pervasive impact on American philanthropy that ... Continue reading..http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/polio/

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